Palestinian Suspects Arrested Over Deadly West Bank Ambush

The suspects opened fire on a vehicle near the former settlement of Homesh on Thursday, killing Yehuda Dimentman and wounding two other students

Suspect being led by Israeli soldier following arrest
A suspect is being led by Israeli soldier following arrest over the suspected shooting near Homesh, in the occupied West Bank. Credit: IDF Spokesperson

Six Palestinian suspects in the ambush that killed a 25-year-old Israeli yeshiva student were captured on Saturday overnight, two days after gunmen opened fire on the car the victim was driving in.

The two suspects accused of committing the shooting are brothers Omar and Rayat Jaradat, aged 20-and 17-years-old. They were arrested in their home in Silat al-Harithiya in the Jenin Governorate. Their uncle, Salah Jaradat, was a prominent Islamic Jihad member in Jenin who was killed by IDF fire in 2003.

According to IDF Spokesperson, six suspects were arrested in total, with four of them directly linked to the attack. They were found along with a stash of weapons, some of which were earmarked for other attacks, says the spokesperson.

Brothers Omar and Rayat Jarada

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett praised the capture of the suspects, especially the cooperation between different security branches and the speed of their arrests: "Every terrorist should know he is on borrowed time," he said.

Also in a statement issued Sunday morning, Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev congratulated the military on the successful arrest adding that "let it be known to every terrorist who hurt an Israeli citizen, the day will come, and you will meet security forces face to face. We will not succumb to terrorism."

The weapon that was found with the suspectsCredit: Police Spokesperson

The gunmen opened fire on a vehicle near the former settlement of Homesh, killing Yehuda Dimentman and wounding two other students, according to police.

On Sunday the Al-Quds Brigades, the military arm of Islamic Jihad in Jenin claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was meant to avenge the death of Jamil Kayyal who was killed by Israeli security forces in Nablus last week.

Following the attack, hundreds came in armored buses to participate in Dimentman's funeral, with many from the congregation calling for revenge and the reestablishment of Homesh, whose residents were evicted and buildings demolished in 2005. Among the attendees were lawmakers from right-wing parties, including Itamar Ben-Gvir, Orit Strock, and Simcha Rothman of the hard-line Religious Zionism Party and Nir Barkat of Likud.

The funeral procession for Yehuda Dimentman, Saturday.Credit: GIL COHEN-MAGEN - AFP

Barkat vowed an "iron fist against the Arab terrorists" and added that "our goal is to bring 2 million Jews here. We will settle everywhere in the Land of Israel."

Homesh, near where Thursday's attack took place, had its residents evicted as part of Israel's 2005 disengagement plan, and Israelis are banned from staying within its bounds. However, settlers frequent the spot and operate the Homesh Yeshiva, which in practice serves as an outpost, with yeshiva students moving between it and the nearest settlement of Shavei Shomron. Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron Regional Council, has regularly voiced support for the yeshiva, and on Thursday, after the attack, he called for legalizing it.

Hours after the Dimentman's death, a Palestinian couple was attacked in their West Bank home by a group of settlers they said claimed to be Israeli soldiers in order to get inside. The attack left 55-year-old Wail Mohammed Makbal with fractured ribs, and his 46-year-old wife Samiha requiring medical attention after inhaling pepper spray.

That attack took place days after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett condemned Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev for criticizing setter violence in the West Bank and promising to tackle it.

Bennett dubbed settler violence an "insignificant phenomena" that should be dealt with. Moreover, he called to refrain from generalizing the whole community. "The settlers in [the West Bank] have been suffering from violence and terrorism, every day, for decades," Bennett said. "We must strengthen and support them, in words and actions."

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